BP restarting Cherry Point refinery

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BLAINE, Wash. (AP) -- BP is in the process of restarting its Cherry Point refinery near Blaine.

Spokesman Michael Abendhoff told The Bellingham Herald (http://is.gd/7RjP62 ) it should be fully operational by the end of May.

The refinery was hit by a fire Feb. 17 and the company decided to move up scheduled maintenance during the outage. The work used more than 3,000 contract workers.

The outages at BP Cherry Point and some other refineries on the West Coast have been cited as possible reasons for a regional gasoline price hike, while gas prices are going down elsewhere.

The Cherry Point refinery is third-largest on the West Coast. It produces 20 percent of Washington's gasoline needs and it supplies the majority of jet fuel for Sea-Tac, Portland and Vancouver, British Columbia, airports.

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Information from: The Bellingham Herald, http://www.bellinghamherald.com